How to Not Embarrass Yourself While Eating on a Date

Eating a burrito may create some embarrassing side effects, such as bloating and gas.
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A romantic dinner date can work as a convenient way to get to know more about someone, bonding over food and laughter. But you want your date to laugh with you, not at you. Before heading out on a date, prepare yourself with practical food suggestions and dating tips that can help you make a good first impression, score another date and avoid any embarrassing food moments.

1 Don't Be Picky

As you pick out food on the menu, try to avoid making a big deal about your health choices and don't order the healthiest thing available. Doing so can turn your date off, may make you appear high maintenance and fussy and can make your date feel judged or embarrassed if he wants to order a steak, burger or another similarly indulgent option. Starting your night off this way makes things awkward and sets you up for more embarrassment and awkwardness as the evening progresses.

2 My, What Big Teeth You Have

Unless you're dating a dentist, you don't want your romantic partner's attention solely on your teeth. Few things are as embarrassing as having a big chunk of food stuck in your pearly whites. When on a date, avoid eating any foods that could get lodged in your teeth. Examples include corn on the cob and salads sprinkled with tiny seeds, such as sesame seeds or poppy seeds.

3 Can You Smell the Love Tonight

Shun smelly foods, as their lingering odors -- smells that linger on you as you eat and scents that may come out of you as you digest the food -- can create embarrassing scenarios both while you're on the date and during any post-date cuddling that may ensue. For example, garlic and similar strong-smelling foods can give you bad breath immediately, while beans can create gassy odors long after the dinner is over. For the best results, choose something that's not heavily spiced or seasoned. It may be a bit blander than you'd like, but it saves your partner from getting blindsided with a breeze of bad smells.

4 Stay on the Tried and True Path

When you're sharing a meal with a date, it's not exactly the best time to take exotic food risks, especially if you two are just starting to get to know each other. Order a safe, simple meal from the menu. This skips over the potential embarrassment of ordering an item that you don't know how to pronounce -- do you want your faulty linguistics corrected by the server in front of your date? -- or getting a plate of food that you discover you absolutely can't eat. Save those risky food adventures for when you're out with friends.

5 Listen to Your Mom

When your mom used to scold you as a child, telling you not to chew with your mouth full of food, she was right! Never talk while you still have food in your mouth, as that's poor dining etiquette and can be embarrassing. Other basic etiquette points to remember: keep your elbows off the table, put away your cellphone when on a date, and don't overdo it with alcoholic drinks if you're old enough to drink.

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.